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harold and maude analysis

Mrs. Chasen decides the answers to the dating questionnaire herself; Confronting Maude in the nude, Harold starts to make his own decisions: Unlike Harold’s parents’ repressive generation, Maude lives her life freely and fully, regardless of her advanced age. His only way of getting his mother’s attention is to pretend he’s dead. Harold tests people’s sense of humor and gullibility by faking suicide; Mrs. Chasen gets pre-screened dates from the dating agency for Harold; she fills in the dating questionnaire herself, to get Harold a date suitable to her; the psychiatrist examines Harold’s feelings; Harold tests Uncle Victor’s limits by “killing” Maude. Maude understands this: Harold, who performs, LIVE!” Maude shares many of these ideas and beliefs with Harold, teaching him to dance, play the banjo, and just enjoy being alive, not dead. Maude loves trying something new, like driving Harold’s hearse: Cat Stevens music defined a generation, and Harold and Maude are no exception. Harold and Maude are polar opposite, in age, but the time they spend together will help Harold live his life better and more fulfillingly. (Higgins, p. 64). [...]  I put a lot of effort into these things. Harold must lose his fear of change, and stop alienating those who try to get close to him by faking suicide. from his bogus suicide attempts to his “offing” of Maude. Both are brought together while attending funerals simply because they enjoy them. “HAROLD, a young man of about twenty, hangs suspended from the ceiling with the curtain rope tied about his grotesquely broken neck.” Harold endlessly stages his own suicide; though he tries, he can’t stop his mother from meddling in his affairs; etc. UNCLE VICTOR:  I’d put him in the Army, Helen. (Higgins, p. 39), Maude has chosen her 80th birthday as the occasion upon which to end her earthly existence, and continue in the spiritual afterlife: A lively 79-year-old who’s done just about everything worth experiencing, Maude (aka Dame Marjorie Chardin) has firm plans to end her life on her 80th birthday. Rights. HAROLD:  (thinks, decides, reports his conclusion)  No. The expectations people (Mother, psychiatrist, etc.) (Higgins, p. 43). What is so strange about death? HAROLD:  But we can’t just dig it up! “A pixiesque old woman, somewhat eccentrically dressed is smiling at [Harold]. Evading eligible women his own age, he’s intrigued by Maude, who infects him with a love for life—and for her. But play as well as you can. (Higgins, p. 98), Maude is disturbed by what she believes is Harold’s slightly inaccurate take on life : Maude’s accentuating of the positive causes Harold to give up his staging of fake suicides; she’s such an influence on young Harold that he falls in love with her, laboring under the illusion that she’ll want to marry him just as he does her. Harold is concerned because: HAROLD:  But when you take these cars don’t you think you are wronging the owners? As his proposal to Maude shows, he’s not opposed to the institution of marriage—it’s just that her values and beliefs mean more to him than those that are generally accepted by society. . MAUDE: . [...]  I took the pills an hour ago. Make good things happen.”, Maude relates to Harold the words she lives her life by: In order to get Harold a suitable computer date, Mrs. Chasen gives answers for him on the questionnaire; the Psychiatrist takes inventory of Harold’s friends and activities. MAUDE:  Greet the dawn with the Breath of Fire! When that fails, she likes Victor’s proposal for making a man of Harold: Maude decides to end her life, bringing the story to an end. After smoking Maude’s pot, Harold recalls his mother learning that he died in the Chemistry lab explosion: Harold, who is portrayed by Bud Cort, is a young man with a very wealthy family that is strangely fascinated by death. With the other she reached out, as if groping for support. Harold’s proficiency at play-acting enables him to outwit Uncle Victor by pretending to be psychotic and killing Maude; Maude’s expertise at stealing cars amazes Harold, while he’s less impressed with her driving skills; she dazzles him with her adeptness at singing, dancing, playing music, sculpting, painting, etc. Harold learns about Maude’s freedom-fighting past, and enjoys fun activities like smoking pot, liberating trees, and playing the banjo. Kings died and kingdoms fell. Harold repeatedly changes his appearance to resemble a corpse; Mrs. Chasen tries to change his ways by sending him to the Psychiatrist for treatment. Harold continues with his self-assisted suicides, getting the knee-jerk reactions he enjoys from the dating service women. . Liberty. It’s change. “Bud Cort is Harold, a rich, suicidal introvert with a soft, unformed face—he’s 19 but looks younger. (Higgins, p. 100) (Higgins, p. 13) Harold was unaware that when he met Maude, she had planed all along to end her life at the age of eighty. I can still see the sunshine, the parasols, and the flashing uniforms of the young officers. (We see a large field of daisies stretching to the hills.) MAUDE:  (she wants the truth)  Really. MAUDE:  Why not? (Higgins, p. 21). She teaches Harold that death is not to be toyed with, rather life is to live so that when one's time comes their life has been lived fully. (Higgins, p. 100) MAUDE:  Oh! While Maude is also interested in death; she enjoys living as well and has lived her life to the fullest. A good time to move on, don’t you think? She makes him understand this when, after he tells her he loves her, she says, “Go and love some more.” After Maude’s death, Harold drives his car over a cliff in another attempt to make people believe he is dead again. The fact that Harold’s mother and her retinue cannot change Harold to be more like them, undermines their efforts to change him; the fact that Harold still lives under his mother’s roof undermines his efforts to freely be who he wants to be. all kinds of observable differences . HAROLD:  ... which I hope will make you very happy.” He drives around recklessly trying to understand the import of Maude’s final act. MRS. CHASEN:  It seems to me that as you do not get along with the daughters of my friends this is the best way for you to find a prospective wife. . Go - and love some more. I couldn’t bear it. MAUDE:  A lot of people enjoy being dead. (Higgins, p. 9) Take a chance! Harold walks away playing his banjo and dancing, things that Maude had taught him. We learn that he's become obsessed with death after witnessing his mother faint after she was wrongly told the news that her son (Harold) had died. We are thankful for their contributions and encourage you to make your own. (Higgins, p. 61). All revolving. STUDENT NURSE:  Oh, many happy returns. (Pauline Kael, in Cinemania), At the time of the story, many of the “older generation” were troubled by the social upheaval seen in the late 60’s and the blossoming of individuality and freedom amongst the “younger generation.”  Mrs. Chasen’s questionnaire responses illustrate this problem: Maude helps Harold escape the clutches of Victor’s Army, and in her arms he experiences the true meaning of love. If only he’d marry, preferably to someone capable of procreation, or sacrifice himself for his country—both of which are anathema to Harold. [...]  “Do you think the sexual revolution has gone too far?”  It certainly seems to have. (Higgins, p. 76). MAUDE:  But, Harold, we begin to die as soon as we are born. “HAROLD:  And after dinner, one more surprise… Maude looks back on her varied life, and considers that: We see from this the contrast of a life given to tormenting people in order to elicit a response to one where death is the point in Maude. After you claim a section you’ll have 24 hours to send in a draft. Harold learns to love and be loved—to embrace the new (playing the banjo) and to end his fascination with death—finally driving his hearse over the cliff, destroying it. Harold seems to have a bizarre psychological fascination with death. MAUDE: . The movie based around a young man named Harold Chasen, and an old woman Maude. (Higgins, p. 99); prompted by Maude ending her life, he destroys the hearse. He mocks their death taboo by driving a hearse, attending funerals for fun, and playing dead. (Higgins, p. 102). Because there are a million things to be, you know that there are.”, Maude intuits that Harold probably doesn’t sing and dance, but also: Fact as a critical flaw works two ways in the story. When Harold sees the effect his supposed death has on his mother, he causes it to happen again and again in a bid to get her attention; to avoid being drafted, he causes his uncle to think he has psychotic tendencies. “If you want to be free, be free. Largely ignored by his mother, Harold lacks feelings of self-worth. Anonymous "Harold and Maude Study Guide: Analysis". (Higgins, p. 22) GradeSaver, 12 May 2019 Web. Ah, life! MAUDE:  I took the pills an hour ago. Maude tells Harold of her good old days as a political activist, fighting for: (Higgins, p. 21) You've reached the "hub" for any and all Dramatica analysis of Harold and Maude. Perhaps he is on the road to find a way, his own way in life that is bigger than anything he'd ever imagined. Maude is always looking for the new experience; she prefers to end her life at 80 rather than “just marking time”; Mrs. Chasen arranges dates for Harold to make his life more meaningful; Uncle Victor wants to “make a man” of Harold; Harold pretends to enjoy killing, in order to escape the draft; the psychiatrist puts down Harold’s desire for Maude as an Oedipus complex, and the priest is sickened by it; Harold wants to marry Maude. this section. MRS. CHASEN:  “Three - should sex education be taught outside the home?”  I would say No, wouldn’t you, Harold? Mrs. Chasen gets the idea of marriage as a way to change Harold, and sets him up with a dating service. Harold’s social life revolves around rituals of death. Rooted in the moment, she can’t accept the nurse’s blessing: (Higgins, p. 97), Maude has determined that the best years of her life are behind her, while Harold’s are yet to come: MAUDE:  I mean seventy-five is too early, but at eighty-five, well, you’re just marking time and you may as well look over the horizon. I should be gone by midnight. Maude teaches Harold the joys of new experiences like ginger pie and oat straw tea, and the importance of being an individual. Ruth Gordon is poor but spunky Maude, the wizened 79-year-old woman who’s like a cheerleader for Life. MAUDE:  I knew we were going to be good friends the moment I saw you. HAROLD:  But this is public property. Mrs. Chasen et al regard her as decrepit and useless, but her wisdom and insight enable her to emotionally connect with Harold, bringing him out of his shell. Before Harold meets Maude, he is a disturbed individual with no friends. It is Maude again.” MAUDE:  Oh, Big Issues. HAROLD:  Don’t you understand? (Higgins, p. 46). MAUDE:  I like to keep a variety. These notes were contributed by members of the GradeSaver community. (Higgins, p. 99). (Higgins, p. 16) In Hal Ashby’s film titled Harold and Maude, a very odd relationship is formed between a young man entering his early twenties and a 79-year-old woman who are both intrigued by attending funerals. That’s wonderful, Harold. Everyone wants Harold to live his life in the way they recommend: Mrs. Chasen wants him to marry a nice young woman and drive a nice sports car; Uncle Victor wants him to “take on a man’s job” in the Army and die for his country “like Nathan Hale”; the priest wants Harold to marry someone who can give him children; the psychiatrist thinks Harold’s “alienation from the regular social interaction” can be isolated and coped with; Maude encourages Harold to embrace life and growth and love, like her. Mrs. Chasen sees marriage as a way to get Harold to change his lifestyle, employing the dating service for this purpose:

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